Safety First

jenningsby Monica Jennings

It is late afternoon; the sun slowly slips away as the thunderstorm containing, cumulonimbus clouds creep from behind the mountaintop moving over the city of New Cagli, Italy.  I make myself aware of the time as well as the weather conditions as I rush to the small, family owned, used computer store to purchase an adapter for my camera.  Two women are seated to my left on a bench in the park talking, giving no indication that they intend to leave.  Thunder roars in the distance and my pace quickens.  I have to get to the computer store, purchase the adapter, and walk to the recreation center for an interview before the clouds burst.  Having no umbrella doesn’t bother me; it’s the possible lightning striking that concerns me.

Although the clouds are darker and the rain drizzles to the ground, no one rushes or seems to notice.  The day continues as usual.  People are unbothered by the idea of a thunderstorm despite the crackling of the skies.  I am shocked as I run quickly to my destination and wonder what are the statistics of lightning striking people in Cagli, Italy.  It has to be high if this is customary behavior.  The salesman in the computer store is kind and allows me to wait until the weather improves.

The walk to the recreation center is just as adventurous.  The construction men are cutting metal on the side of the street.  The men have no goggles for eye protection nor do they wear gloves for their hands; they ignore the multiple sparks that fly in all angles from the metal.  I approach the men with caution expecting them to cease until I pass.  They glance my way and continue to work.  Politely I step into the street and speed past hoping to avoid the sting of a spark gone astray.  I am uneasy and wonder what the safety rules and regulations are for construction workers; I wonder if they have rules and regulations at all.  I have come to the conclusion that safety in Cagli is not a priority- safety is not first.

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